At this point, complaining about the abundance of plastic components making up the hardware in Samsung’s smartphone lineup almost seems like beating a dead horse: Samsung appears very happy with the direction it’s chosen for itself, and it clearly has the sales figures to support that it made the right decision. At least, plastic may be the name of the game for now, but a smart company always keeps its eyes on the horizon. Will plastic still seem like an ideal material choice several years from now? Samsung seems to at least be willing to consider alternatives, as we get news that it’s become involved in a project to develop carbon fiber materials for use in its consumer electronics.
Samsung and the SGL Group have announced a joint venture to form Samsung SGL Carbon Composite Materials, each holding a half stake. While it’s too soon to say if this will necessarily lead to carbon fiber smartphones, it’s clear that Samsung is interested in increasing the presence of the material across many families of products, and the weight savings could be a big benefit for portable electronics like phones.
Of course, practical issues like cost could keep Samsung from rushing into adopting carbon fiber for phones and tablets, not to mention manufacturing concerns: we already know one of the reasons Samsung loves plastic so much is how easy it is to work with. It could be some time before carbon fiber is both affordable and convenient enough to become a serious option Samsung considers for a future Galaxy device.